It’s time for our annual season top 10! Each summer, the staff votes on its top 10 players ahead of the upcoming season. A first place vote is worth 10 points, second place is worth nine points, and so on.
Reminder: This is a Top 10 for how the players will produce this season. It’s not just based on what they have done in their career up to this point. Instead, it’s how we think they will play this coming season.
HOW HE GOT HERE
My, my, my, how things do change quickly at times. Just a few years ago, Olumuyiwa “Olu” Fashanu was a 3-star prospect out of Washington, DC, and looked to be a bit of a project. Fast forward and there was very real hype that Olu could have been the first offensive lineman taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.
After redshirting in 2020 (what a terrible first year on a college campus, could you imagine?), Fashanu began to work his way in to the lineup in 2021. He appeared in 9 games total, and finally earned the starting nod at left tackle against Arkansas in the Outback Bowl.
From there, Olu would not look back. In 2022, he anchored the left side of the line, and very quickly cemented himself as one of the best offensive linemen the Lions have had in several years. In 299 pass plays, he allowed zero (zip, zilch, nada) sacks, and gave up any kind of pressure at all on just 3% of all pass plays. At 6-foot-6 and 319 pounds, he’s got the size and frame to be a prototypical LT at the next level.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2023
That’s a bit unfair, perhaps, to Olu who has already shown domination. But really, if there’s any one thing to nitpick it’s run blocking... and I’m not going to pick that nit. His athleticism is off the charts, his IQ and reaction time are unreal, and his physical strength is enormous.
Here, watch this video and tell me I shouldn’t be excited by Fashanu in 2023: